Weekly Market Summary: Riding Wave of Momentum Into Earnings Season

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The S&P 500 snapped an eight-session winning streak on Tuesday, but U.S. stocks still have strong momentum heading into the first-quarter earnings season.

The index flirted with the 2,900 level this week, which is a price that we haven’t seen since last October. One big change since then is that average U.S. earnings showed 20%-plus year-over-year growth in the first three quarters of 2018 and now we’re staring at the first quarterly earnings decline in the S&P 500 in three years.

The quarterly reports we’ll see over the next few weeks will go a long way to determining if the recent momentum can continue.… Read more

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average emerged from correction territory this week, as investors applauded earnings in the financial sector. At the same time, markets chose to ignore the now record-long U.S. government shutdown and ongoing Brexit saga in the U.K.

Financials Start Earnings Season On Positive Note

Bank of America (BAC), Citigroup (C) and Goldman Sachs (GS) all traded higher this week, after posting solid quarterly results. The earnings news was not all rosy however, as Morgan Stanley (MS) fell short of expectations on Thursday. Outside of the financial sector, Ford Motor (F) also cut profit expectations this week.

As the following chart shows, quarterly reporting activity will continue to pick up next week and the floodgates really open in February.… Read more

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As you near (and enter) retirement you probably favor bonds, which provide income with less drama than stocks. However, less drama means less potential upside. With retirees living longer than ever before, it’s important to not go too conservative too early in life. And fortunately today, even 65 or 70 may be too early!

One suggested solution for our long life expectancy “problem” is to stay with stocks longer. But stocks can go down as well as up and a big pullback can inflict permanent damage on a portfolio.

So, we want to capture the dividends that stocks pay and the upside potential that they provide by minimizing our downside risk.… Read more

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Mortgage rates reached a new milestone last week, and it’s one of the most important—and underreported—events in economic history.

For the first time ever, 30-year mortgage rates fell below 3.99%, on average. This is stunning for several reasons, but the most important is that the Federal Reserve is actively working to get mortgage rates higher. By increasing its Federal funds interest rate target, the Fed is hoping to make borrowing more expensive for everyone—companies, students and, yes, homebuyers.

But it’s not working.

And perhaps the biggest reason why it’s not working is that bond investors don’t think economic growth is going to strengthen, so they’re effectively daring the Fed to keep raising rates.…
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About Author

Brett

Hi, I’m Brett Owens – and I’m a financial junkie. My “problem” started incollege, when I got a little dose of the stock market – man, was I hooked…in no time, I was reading the Wall Street Journal religously.

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